Pretty Planters
By Karen Parr-Moody

It’s hotter than an oven, but those plants and flowers that are struggling will look more beautiful when contained in stunning vessels. At GasLamp, there is currently a lovely variety of plant holders, including classic jardinières, artisan pottery and one-of-a-kind finds. And whether you keep these decorative items on a porch or in a living room, they will grace a home with life and beauty — and do so with a reasonable price tag.

Today collectors love American pottery names such as Roseville, Weller, J.B. Owens, Robinson Ransbottom and McCoy Pottery. And those who are astute in their research will discover that the era from the 1930s to the 1950s was something of a golden age for garden related items; almost every major pottery company in America made them during this time.  

McCoy planters, such as the ones in the photo, above right, remain highly collectible today; it’s easy to see why McCoy has a famous admirer in the décor doyenne Martha Stewart, who collects both white and mint green shades. Those beautiful McCoy colors are a major lure. Shades include which include distinctive yellows, maroons and mint greens, just as the tones of the pots in the photo, above right ($26 per pot; all at Booth B-106). The two on the right feature embossed tulips and the one on the left features daisies. Take your pick; you can’t go wrong.

“Jardinière” is the French word for “gardener,” and it encompasses a group of typically decorative vessels used to contain large plants or even herb gardens. The French call the tabletop versions “cachepots” as a distinction. The brass jardinière in the photo, left, was created with the repoussé method, which is a metalworking technique ($95; Booth B-230). With repoussé, a malleable metal gains ornamentation when an artisan hammers the reverse side to create a design in relief, as seen here with the classic garlands and flowers. As an added flourish, this jardinière has lion head details and lion feet.

The Mid-century Modern era was overflowing with colorful bird motifs that were fashioned into tiny planters or glamorous wall pockets. Such items represent the perfect way to do double duty with a nature motif. This sweet bird in the photo, right, flanks a tiny pot that could very easily contain a miniature Victorian moss (Selaginella) or some hens and chicks ($22; Booth B-312). Such a planting would bring life to a cozy bedroom.

Faux bois — in French, "false wood" — is an endlessly stylish, and historic, type of "wood" that is not really wood, but rather a likeness of wood. The planter in the photo, below left, is a realistic version, whereas some faux bois items of today can be incredibly graphic ($75; Booth B-309). This one looks more like it is at one with a forest, and when planted with some moss, fern or flowers, it would look chic on a porch.  

Green thumbs of today will find their imaginations open to the many possibilities of planters at GasLamp. Due to our global market of new hybrids and heirloom blooms, every gardener has an immense variety of plants from which to choose. All one needs is the right container to complete the look … and then simply add water!

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